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Henderson recruits Mourinho for ad campaign

Henderson Global Investors has recruited José Mourinho, Real Madrid football club manager, to be the face of its new advertising campaign.

The self-appointed “special one” is to front the campaign launching in the UK and across continental Europe and Asia.

Mourinho, who has won a plethora of football trophies during his management career, said the asset manager was “special”.

He says: “In my job I answer to fans who expect 100 per cent commitment.

“It is what I expect of myself and my team. To be associated with a company I must be sure it shares my passion for delivering results and has good reason to be confident about its abilities.”

“That is what impresses me about Henderson. For me, that is why Henderson is special.”

Andrew Formica, chief executive of Henderson Global Investors, says: “José’s success has been built on his passion and drive aligned with careful planning and getting the best from his teams.”

Formica says Henderson shares many of the same traits with the former Chelsea football club and Inter Milan coach.

He says: “The association expresses our confidence as an organisation, the pride we have in our people and our commitment to do the best for our clients.”


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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. This looks like a wind-up. Can’t wait to see the adverts.

    “Henderson: Poking poor performance in the eye since 1857”

  2. James Page, Muse Marketing Strategy 14th November 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Have the marketers at Henderson Global Investors pulled off the transfer coup of the year ? When revealing Jose Mourhino as the face of their new global campaign, Andrew Formica, Chief Executive, was recently reported as saying that Mourinho’s management style matches the brand values of Henderson. “José’s success has been built on his passion and drive aligned with careful planning and getting the best from his teams. All of these apply equally to the business of investment management, which is why I am delighted to have José on our team.”
    Now whatever your views on the current Real Madrid manager, this is nothing if not a bold move. Mourinho is no shrinking violet and certainly not one to toe the line. Ask Roman Abramovich. The Russian oligarch may have had the final say when he issued the special one with his P45 but in truth he did so as much to rid himself of a troublesome priest as to punish poor performance.

    And as bold moves go, there is a great deal of qualitative and quantitative evidence to suggest it is the right one for Henderson. Aside from one notable exception (Artemis), our recent research amongst intermediaries and consumers shows that very little asset management advertising cuts through with either audience in the UK. So the decision to associate the Henderson brand with a distinctive personality is most definitely a positive one, worthy of the Portugese supremo himself. And let’s not ignore the fact that if Jose’s good enough for global brands like American Express and Braun, amongst many others, he’s probably good enough for Henderson.

    The more cautious marketer in all of us might be forgiven for pointing out that for all the above the Mourinho personality, like any other brand is a complex one, comprising multiple facets which will be regarded variously as neutral, negative and positive, by different audiences. And whilst Henderson liken the positive elements of his management style to their own brand values, let’s not forget that they are buying the whole man. Jose is undoubtedly an attractive character in the main but also a man prone to more than his fair share of public displays of egotism, provocation and even the odd bit of eye-poking (surely not values that one would actively seek to build into the architecture of one’s financial brand ?). What’s more today’s hero can quickly turn into tomorrow’s villain. Look no further than Tiger Woods to see how quickly relationships can turn sour with conservative sponsors for whom a clean media bill of health is a non-negotiable. And as far as football managers are concerned, those of us old enough to remember still have a sympathetic chuckle at Lawrie McMenemy’s attempt to combine his role as Barbican’s non-alcoholic beer spokesman with a penchant for driving home from his local.

    However in the greater scheme of things even the odd bit of referee-baiting or media stone-walling may not be a bad thing. Why ? Mr Formica points out that Jose’s mangement style matches the brand values of Henderson – reading from the above we can take those to include passion, drive, careful planning and team management. Now in a relatively risk-averse category it is hard for any brand to adopt a distinctive, relevant and motivating positioning. Ask yourself, especially if you’re responsible for stewarding an asset management brand yourself, which of those four values above shouldn’t yours possess ? It’s difficult enough to create a proposition that makes your brand stand-out at all, yet alone to produce communications that cut-through or deliver any meaningful return on marketing investment. Yet it’s well accepted that brands that have a little tension, a little dark as well as light, gain far greater levels of cut-through. So perhaps the deal is shrewder than it at first appears. The relationship with Jose, with all his quirks and foibles, may well prove to be beneficial beyond his global status, allowing the Henderson brand to rise above the category average, taking advantage of all his personality traits, for good and occasionally ill.

    In his own words, “I live and work in a world where you can’t say what you think, can never say the truth. Not being a hypocrite, a diplomat and a coward is my biggest defect.”

    Whatever the outcome, there are certainly interesting times ahead for the Henderson brand.

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